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Is South L.A. Forging a New Identity?


Zócalo is thrilled to host their first in-person event of the year! They will also be streaming the event, either in real-time or the following day. Check their website for more information to come soon.

South Los Angeles, one of the West Coast’s last great working-class places, has been a destination point for two great migrations: African Americans arriving from the South and East, and, more recently, Latin Americans immigrating to Southern California. While media have long dwelled on examples of interracial and interethnic conflict there, the everyday reality of South L.A.’s ever-changing neighborhoods has revolved around Black-Brown co-existence, cooperation, and innovative multiracial organizing. How have South Central’s diverse residents managed to find solidarity in unsettling and polarizing times? What new and shared place-based identities have emerged from the area’s mix of histories and cultures? And what can the rest of L.A., and the U.S., learn from South L.A.?

USC sociologists Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo and Manuel Pastor, co-authors of South Central Dreams: Finding Home and Building Community in South L.A., and Corey Matthews, chief operating officer of Community Coalition, visit Zócalo to explore the lessons of South L.A.’s struggles and successes.

This event is produced in partnership with South Central Innervisions: An AfroLatinxFuturism multidisciplinary arts festival on July 31, 2021 at Mercado La Paloma.

Image credit: Background photo courtesy of David Allen/Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. Image courtesy of Zócalo Public Square.